April 5th – National ‘Read a Road Map’ Day!

 

Ahh, remember the “good ole days” where we printed our driving directions from a map we looked up online, on our desktop computer? The computer that every one in the house shared, and it was set up in the corner of the dining room.

Believe it or not, before the convenience of getting driving directions online, “old school” truck drivers planned their routes by unfolding and reading paper road maps. Yes, there as once a time where reading a road map was the only way we could navigate from one place to the next.

image of a road map zoomed in to Colorado Springs, CO with a push pin marking the center of the cityAsk any veteran truck driver, and they’ll be sure to remember the days of pulling over on the side of the road, spreading a road map out on the hood of their big, gas-guzzling sedan – or trying to pin it to the side of their 18-wheeler – and trying to figure out which exit was missed, before finally realizing that the map was upside-down.

Back when zooming in on a section of the map meant taking the magnifying glass out of the glove box to focus on the teeny print of obscure street names and cities no one has ever heard of. When searching for businesses on a map was a matter of hoping the street was big enough to print numeric address block indicators.

If there’s one thing that might make you love your GPS navigation even more, it’s observing the offbeat holiday known as National Read a Road Map Day.

Every year on April 5th, Americans remember that folding road maps truly is a lost art, and that you really can travel without satellites in outer space. (Though, it might not be wise to attempt your next delivery with a “real” road map unless you’re sure it’s up-to-date.

Why Celebrate National Read a Road Map Day

Today, truck drivers rely on a variety of maps – GPS, Google Maps, Google Earth, TruckMiles.com, directions from dispatch, or even specific directions from the customer. And, of course, a good old fashioned road map.

But, if you think younger generations are losing the art of map-reading, you’d be right about that. Third grade social studies classes used to teach an entire map-reading course. But many schools aren’t even teaching social studies because it’s not generally on standardized tests.

To celebrate the art of road map reading – and to make sure it does’t go extinct – you might consider taking your kids on an old-fashioned road trip, or if you want to see if you’re tough enough to hang in an analog world, celebrate the day by mapping out a day trip ahead of time and stashing the GPS. (Just for the day. C’mon! You can do it!)

Read a Road Map…No Driving Required!

You probably see road maps displayed for sale at every truck stop you’ve ever visited, but you can also pick them up for free at any AAA office, if you’re a member. Online retailers also sell maps, as do some book stores, grocery stores, and drug stores.

There are a couple things things to remember about old-fashioned maps. Road maps don’t get automatic updates like your cellphone map app. Construction happens, and roads change, so it’s good to “update” your map by buying a new one each year. And, unlike your GPS,  a road map won’t tell you how long the drive will take, and they don’t alert you if you’ve missed a turn. So choose your road trip buddy carefully because it’s their job to navigate.

Don’t have a trip in mind? Haul out the road maps and give them a peek anyway. Got any old ones stashed? It’s fun to see how things have changed over time. The symbols, road names and layout of cities are interesting to look at even when you’re not going anywhere. Maps are a fun way to kill a few hours – though most of that time might be spent trying to re-fold the map the right way. Reminisce about the misadventures from your glory days and remember what the world was like before GPS.


image of the front cover of the 2017 Motor Carrier Road Atlas by Rand McNallyAs a truck driver today, you might criss-cross the nation using your GPS without giving it much thought; punch in your destination, and let your Sat-Nav do the rest. But what happens when your battery dies, or you lose satellite signal? It might be wise to brush up on your map reading skills and keep several general roadmaps in your truck for such an occasion!

Rand McNally even prints maps specific for motor carriers with updated restricted routes, low clearance, and weigh station locations.

Remember, the right training makes all the difference in your success as a truck driver. When you go through CDL training at US Truck Driving School, you’ll get trip-planning knowledge from instructors with a million miles of experience, plus a network of drivers all trying to navigate the roads just like you!

 

Am I too Old to Become a Truck Driver?

 

image of two truck drivers silhouetted shaking hands in front of a truck against the background of a sun set
Changing careers later in life is sometimes intimidating and scary. Whether you are looking at a truck driving career for the first time, or hoping to advance your career in the truck driving industry, going through CDL training does not have to be so overwhelming. Unlike many other careers, getting your CDL with United States Truck Driving School doesn’t take years of training – and we help with Job Placement!

Shifting Gears Later in Life

Like many people, after years building work experience you might be feeling the pull of wanting something different or more fulfilling. As a matter of fact, people often change gears and train for a rewarding truck driving career after retiring. Some want the security of a good paycheck, others just a change of scenery. Regardless of your choice, a career in the truck driving industry can be well paid and exciting.

Truck Driver Benefits

– If sitting in a cubicle every day has you feeling down, changing careers as a CDL licensed truck driver means your office is the open road ahead of you. Drivers can travel 2500 miles per week, on average. It gives you the opportunity to experience places you’ve never seen before.

– If independence is your goal, you get to make your own hours; as long as you meet the deadlines. .Truck driving is flexible so long as you meet your delivery goals!

– You can choose to be a long-haul truck driver or stay local delivering in a specific region as a short-haul driver.

– You get paid to travel! Since the flexibility is a big reward, you can take the time to see places you’ve always wanted to visit while heading towards or home from your destination.

– You get a big huge truck! If you love trucks and the diesel engine roar, riding in one every day is a reward in itself.

Get Your CDL License

Getting your CDL license takes less time than traditional college courses, which means you are out there looking for a job faster and hitting the road sooner! The first step to moving into a driving career and hitting the road is getting your CDL license with US Truck Driving School. You’ll get many miles of open road experience while working towards your CDL during road instructions. With the right training, you will have a rewarding and exciting new career as a truck driver in no time. Contact us today to embark on your new career!

sources:
http://www.smart-trucking.com/long-haul-trucker.html
http://www.learnhowtobecome.org/the-complete-guide-to-career-changes-after-50/

Colorado Winter Driving: Tips for traveling safely

 

 

picture shows the skyline of Downtown Denver as it sets on a cold winter evening, the streets and highway (US Interstate 25) are filled with heavy rush-hour traffic.

If you’ve never lived in Colorado, it’s easy to get the wrong idea about the winter weather. First things first: It’s Colorado, people! Not North Dakota, Minnesota, or Antarctica! That’s not to say Colorado doesn’t have its fair share of challenging cold weather along the Front Range Urban Corridor. It does, and Coloradans are proud!

 

Colorado Winter Weather

Average annual snowfall in Colorado Springs is approximately 39 inches, and in Denver, it’s somewhat more intimidating at 56.3 inches. But residents typically enjoy more than 240 sunny days every year in this lovely state.

Snowstorms aren’t the norm. Though when the snow dumps, it’s impressive. The important thing to understand is that it’s not around all winter. When you talk about climate conditions in Colorado, the philosophy is, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” (Some folks use “blizzard/schlizzard,” but that’s not quite as catchy.)

What all this means is that driving here is uneventful most days. But when nasty weather hits, you have to be ready! It’s sort of like the old military motto, “hurry up and wait”. But if you follow the Boy Scout creed of preparedness, you should do just fine.

Drive Prep

Colorado meteorologists truly love to warn Coloradans of upcoming snowstorms and icy havoc. Seriously. They really love it. So, you usually have plenty of warning. You’ll also have plenty of false scares. It’s the nature of the beast.

Colorado winter driving requires some essentials:

— Functioning heater and defrost
— Snow tires
— Ice scraper
— Cold weather gear: Gloves, Coat, Hat, and Blanket
— Flares
— Sand/traction mats

These are the basics. Other items, like snow chains, a first aid kid, nonperishable food, a sleeping bag, and a shovel can’t hurt. But these are usually items more necessary if you plan to do some real winter mountain driving.  That’s probably not the greatest idea for a novice. Just saying.

Drive Time

Finally, what you’ve been waiting for. What do you do when you’re sliding around on the icy, snowy Colorado roads to prevent accidents and injury? Well first, don’t slide around. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you safe:

1. Slow down! Seriously. This cannot be stressed enough.

2. When braking, use steady pressure for anti-lock brakes and pumping for standard brakes. Whatever happens, do not slam on your brakes.

3. Black ice is real. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Use caution. (See 1 and 2.)

4. Heed warning signs, such as “Watch for ICE on Bridge.” They didn’t have a sale on these signs. If they’re there, they mean it.

5. Use your low beams. Your brights reflect off the snow, making it impossible to see. Safe driving requires sight – in any weather!

6. Slow down. Yes, I’m telling you again. That’s truly how important that tip is. Because if you really want to go faster, it might just be in an ambulance.

Okay, so now you have the tips to take on winter driving in a car. But, do you think you can manage it all in a big rig? The right training makes all the difference. If you want to become a professional truck driver that has the right skills to take on all different kinds of weather conditions, then our truck driver training courses are the way to begin your career in the trucking industry!

Give us a call! Lets talk about enrollment and registration requirements.
In Denver: 1-800-727-7364, or Colorado Springs: 1-800-666-7364

Sources
http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/colorado-springs/colorado/united-states/usco0078
http://www.bestplaces.net/climate/county/colorado/denver
https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Colorado/Places/denver-snowfall-totals-snow-accumulation-averages.php
http://www.rmiia.org/downloads/03-CDT-052Brochure.pdf

2017 Trucking Industry Outlook

 

The 2017 trucking forecast appears to be heading into another year demand. The US economy in 2016 did well with the third picture shows 5 different semi trucks parked in a rowquarter corporate profits swelling just under $46 Billion from profits made during the second quarter of 2016.

As we continue to wait for the Feds to release data on the fourth quarter of 2016, it is fairly safe to say that 2017 should be another profitable year for corporations. What this means for truck drivers is an increase in demand for goods moved by trucks. The reason is that stores and manufacturers need to restock their inventories if they wish to supply products to consumers.

In short, 2017 for truck driving jobs should be another bumper year.

Young People Needed

It is not secret that the trucking industry is getting older. When we look at the demographic data, as published by the American Trucking Association, we see that the trucking industry needs younger drivers. This is because for years as older truckers retired, nobody replaced them.

When the housing market crashed in 2008 trucking took a hit. It was a good time to get out of the industry and so people did. Since the US economy has turned around, the need for truck drivers has continued to grow.

That is what has lead to the trucking shortage and that remains what is driving the need for new truck drivers. For anyone looking for a new career, or to start their first, trucking needs people.

Trucking is Growing and It Needs New Drivers

When we look at the data from sites like the BLS, what we see is a steady growth for new jobs within the industry. Part of that is due to speculation and part of it the fact that for the last several years, trucking has been hurting for new drivers. A few key facts:

— The drop in fuel costs makes moving goods by truck even more viable to industry.

— The US Economy is doing well and consumer confidence is growing. What that means is people are buying goods as documented by that massive growth in corporate profits for third quarter 2016.

— The US Housing Market is fully recovered and people are buying homes again. This is driving the need by manufacturers for building materials and by consumers for goods for their new homes.

What all this means is that for 2017, the industry is sitting in a prime position to grow. What is holding back trucking is the shortage of drivers. Trucking not only needs new drivers to fill existing needs, they need new drivers to replace those that are retiring.

Trucking needs you. If you’re ready to start a new career, United States Truck Driving School can get you on the road in just a few weeks. Professional training, financial aid programs, and lifetime job placement assistance are just a few of the benefits of enrolling in one of our CDL training programs.

Give us a call today! Talk with our school office about registration and enrollment options!
In Denver: 1-800-727-7364 or Colorado Springs: 1-800-666-7364

Waste Management Job Opportunity

 

Waste Management is now hiring Heavy Equipment Operators in Carbondale, CO.

They’re offering competitive pay, great benefits, and plenty of opportunities to grow!

Requirements:

— You must be 18+ to apply
— Must have a minimum of 6 months relevant work experience
— Must be forklift certified

More information can be found at www.wm.com/careers or by calling 1-844-969-6754

Requisition # 16014203
EOE M/F/D/V

 

Waste Management now hiring in Carbondale, CO

At US Truck, we offer lifetime job placement to all our graduates!

We have ongoing employment partnerships with many different companies – so no matter what kind of company you’d like to drive for – big or small, local or OTR – you can work with our Placement Director for help with finding a new job in the trucking industry. Contact us today to make an appointment!

Denver: 800-727-7364 | Colorado Springs: 800-666-7364 | email: ustruck@ustruck.com

Student Loans for CDL Training at US Truck Driving School

 

While the cost of CDL training for truck driving is vastly cheaper than the cost of almost any other career training, many may still need financial assistance to complete their schooling and get on the road. When scholarships are not enough, and you simply do not have to funds to pay the cost out-of-pocket, student loans are a great option for funding your training.

Financial aid is available to students that qualify.Even if you have been denied student loans in the past, whether for tech school or college classes, the United States Truck Driving School in Colorado may be able to offer you financial aid. One great feature is that you do not have to start paying back your loans right away. While you can begin repaying your loans immediately, this is not necessary. In fact, you have a full two months after your graduation date until you will be required to make your first monthly payment. This allows you time to settle into your truck driving job and begin making money before you have to even worry about a loan payment.

Not only do we find every possible way to help you fund your education, but we also provide job placement with trucking companies that offer reimbursement for tuition to graduates from our program to assist you in repaying your loan monthly. Some of these companies will pay up to half of your loan payment each month, totaling as much as $5,000 total. Even if you will need to fully rely on student loans for CDL training, you have several options available to you to prevent you from having to pay the full amount of your financial aid back.

If the only thing holding you back from pursuing a career in truck driving is the cost of your schooling, there is nothing to worry about. We will find a way to finance your CDL training! If you are ready to register for our CDL training program, you can apply online to speed up your acceptance process. You may even be pre-approved and can begin training immediately.

To apply you will first need to select the application for the correct school campus — either Denver or Colorado Springs.

Then, you’ll need a few things to get started:

– Your Driver’s License Number and Social Security number
– Bank and credit card information
– Personal or professional references.
– Home addresses for the last three years
– Up to 10 years of employment history

If you have any questions about the registration process, please call and speak with one of our Admissions Representatives! They’ll help walk you through the entire process, and make enrolling for your CDL training as easy as they can! Begin your online application today to start your journey toward a successful truck driving career!

For questions, please call us at 1-800-727-7364 in Denver, or 1-800-666-7364 in Colorado Springs.

Third Party CDL Skills Testing in Colorado

 

CDL Testing in Colorado is no longer done at the Driver’s License branches. The CDL Skills Test is now administered through third-party testing centers, licensed by the State of Colorado CDL Compliance to provide third party testing.

 
Third Party CDL Skills Testing at US Truck Driving SchoolThe commercial driver’s license (CDL) is made up of three parts, a pre-trip test, backing/maneuvers test, and a road test. If you have any questions about the test, it is outlined in Sections 11, 12, and 13 of the CDL handbook. It is important to look over this information so that you know exactly what you will be tested on, and so that you don’t run into any problems on test day.

In the past, when drivers were going to take the test for their CDL in the State of Colorado, they had to go to the Driver’s License branch at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This is not longer the protocol. The CDL Skills Test will now be administered through a third party testing center. United States Truck Driving School is one of these centers. Our school has been licensed by the State of Colorado CDL Compliance to provide third party testing.

There are 4 types of licenses that we are authorized to test for:

  • Class A Combination Vehicles (GVWR 26,001 lbs. or more)
  • Class A w/NTT
  • Class B Straight Truck (GVWR 26,001 lbs. or more)
  • Class C Small vehicles w/hazmat or passenger

 
There are also certain Endorsements that we are authorized to test for:

  • BP2 Bus, 15 passengers or more plus the driver
  • CP1 Passengers
  • S School bus

 
Additional Information You Should Know About Taking Your CDL Test at United States Truck Driving School:

To take your test, you will need to bring your DOT card, your vehicle driver’s license, and your CDL Permit.

You must hold your CDL permit for 14 days before you can take your test.

We currently have two locations in Colorado. One is located in the Denver metro area, the other is located in Colorado Springs.

If you are going to be taking a test in Colorado Springs, we do not offer all tests. If you are considering taking your test at this location, you should contact the office to find out what tests are offered.

If you want to take the test for your CDL license but don’t need training, our Denver (Wheat Ridge) Campus has opened our outside CDL Testing to include Fridays and Saturdays. Testing will now be held Monday through Saturday at that location for your convenience.

A new policy came into effect as of July 8, 2015: If you take a test on a vehicle with an automatic transmission, there will be restrictions placed on your license that you will only be allowed to drive an automatic. If you don’t want a restriction, you would need to take the test on a vehicle with a manual transmission. If you take your test on a vehicle with a manual transmission, there will be no restrictions placed on your CDL.

If you are going to be taking your test at our Denver campus, all Class A testing vehicles have manual transmissions. For Class B CDL’s, we have vehicles with both manual and automatic transmissions.

Our Colorado Springs campus provides Class A and Class B testing on vehicles with only manual transmissions.

For more information on our Colorado CDL testing, truck driver training, pricing, or to schedule a test, contact the United States Truck Driving School at either number listed below:

Denver: 1-800-727-7364 or Colorado Springs: 1-800-666-7364

Looking to De-Stress? Try Coloring. (I’m Serious)

 

Being a truck driver, or a truck drivers spouse, or a truck driving student can be stressful. Most of us have hobbies that we turn to when we are home, but what do you do when you’re out on the road, in small (ok, cramped) living conditions, with non-traditional working hours? When you can’t really hit the gym regularly, or you’ve tried knitting but it’s just not your thing…

Well, if you’re looking for a new stress-relieving hobby, consider breaking out the colored pencils and relaxing with an adult coloring book.

Yes, adult coloring books are really a thing!

Several people have done research on the matter (yes, we think that’s weird too) and have lumped these coloring books in with other “childish activities” that us grown-ups are going back to because it’s a mental escape that brings us back to our childhood. While they may be considered a “childish activity,” childish they are not!

Think of these adult coloring books and printable coloring pages as a sort of mindful meditation, something that is used to reduce the stress levels many (Okay, all) of us are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala tells the Huffington Post that “coloring triggers and stimulates the brain areas associated with motor skills, creativity, and the senses. Coloring helps to calm the part of our brains called the amygdala, which controls our emotions and stress. Simply put? Coloring takes our minds off our problems, and as a result leaves us feeling much more relaxed, rested, and at ease.”

Something that sounds pretty appealing to someone that drives a big, giant truck for a living. No one wants a stressed-out driver behind the wheel of a big rig.

But, we like to appeal to the masses, young and old, male and female. Coloring is just fun, and who doesn’t like a big truck!? So, this page is for you and/or the kiddos in your life- who ever gets to it first! Feel free to print it out (perhaps print out multiple copies to share) and color it as wild and wacky as you dare!

Send us a picture of your finished product, and if we like it enough, we might even consider re-painting the trucks to match! (Okay, probably not – but we WILL give you a shout out on our Facebook and Twitter pages!)

USTDS - b&w truck

Got a finished one you want to send us? There’s a couple super simple ways you can share your masterpiece with us. Either post it to our Facebook page, or send it to us in a private message, or you can use this form and we will share it for you! Any way you choose, we can’t wait to see all your lovely artwork!

Trucking industry adapts to shortage – KOAA.com

 

There is a shortage of truck drivers in America, and the trucking industry is responding to that shortage.

Source: Trucking industry adapts to shortage – KOAA.com

Posted: Dec 14, 2015 8:24 PM CST
Updated: Dec 14, 2015 8:24 PM CST
By Andy Koen

COLORADO SPRINGS – There is a shortage of truck drivers in America. The combination of an improving economy, changing regulatory environment and an aging workforce have all caused recruiters to get creative in order to attract new employees.

At the US Truck Driving School in El Paso County, many students are pre-hired meaning there is a job already waiting for them when the graduate. Many students have their tuition paid by their future employers. Training Director Mark Haefner said even those students who aren’t already hired can easily find work.

“We do have representatives from several companies coming in just about every other week that will talk with the students that are not pre-hired and draw them in also,” Haefner said.

At the Love’s Trucks Stop north of Pueblo, drivers tell us it’s job that requires a certain personality type.

“It’s not for everybody,” said driver Jeffery Harris. “If you’re a social kind of person, you know, I mean you’re going be in the truck kind of by yourself. So, if you’re used to being alone and that type of thing.”

Long distance runs that keep drivers away from home for extended periods have historically been part of a trucking career. Haefner said he tells students to expect to work odd hours.

“There is no 9 to 5, it’s none of this you’re going to work for 8 or 10 hours a day and then rest the rest of the time because the way freight has to travel will depend on how you’re going to be able to work and sleep and so on,” he said.

But recruiters tell us, even that is changing. In addition to new pay bonuses and benefits packages, many companies are now reworking routes to make them more accommodating of their drivers home lives.

“We have a lot of home daily routes in the Colorado Springs and Denver area specifically, they can count on being gone in 5 days and have two days off,” said Guy Horn, a recruiter for Werner Enterprises, the nation’s fourth largest trucking company.

He adds that new changing regulations are adding to the shrinking work force.

“Parameters have changed and that’s forced (out) a lot of drivers who are good, qualified drivers, and experienced drivers that don’t meet the the qualifications and just the demands of the job itself play into it,” Horn said.

Haefner explained that requirements to obtain a Commercial Drivers License used to vary from state to state. Those requirements are more uniform and apply nationwide today.

“It’s actually making things a little bit harder for people to obtain CDL’s,” he said.

There are roughly 3 million truck drivers on the road. Last year, the median annual salary was $40,000 a year. However, Horn said many of their new drivers at Werner Enterprises can expect to earn up to $50,000 their first year.

If you’ve got questions about how you can get started as a truck driver in this area or over-the-road, give us a call. Denver: 800-727-7364 or Colorado Springs: 800-666-7364 or stop by any of our recruiter events or job fairs.


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Show your support: Greenlight a Vet

 

Greenlight a VetShow your support for the men and women who have served this great nation, and Greenlight a Vet!

When they’re out of uniform, and in civilian clothes, it’s harder to show our veterans the appreciation they deserve, because they just blend right in with the rest of us. This simple campaign is intended to spark a national conversation regarding the recognition of veterans, and “greenlight” them forward as valued members of our communities.

What exactly is “Greenlight a Vet?”

Greenlight a Vet is a campaign to establish visible national support for our veterans by changing one porch light to green. Change one light to green in a visible location – on your porch, or in your window – and keep it glowing every day as a symbol of appreciation and support for our veterans.

Greenlight a Vet

For more information, please visit the campaign website at www.greenlightavet.com

At United States Truck Driving School, we understand the challenges veterans face in making the transition from military to civilian life, and are proud to support our men and women in uniform. We are honored to participate in financial assistance & training programs specifically designed to prepare veterans for careers in the civilian workforce, in this trucking and transportation industries.

For more information on our veteran career training programs, please contact us today to see how to get started training in your new civilian career.

Call our Denver campus at: 1-800-727-7364

Call our Colorado Springs campus at: 1-800-666-7364